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Yes, I’m finally jumping on the blog train. With just minutes to spare, as usual. First Facebook, now this. How will I ever keep my hard-won luddite cred?

Still, I feel the need to document my attempts to recover from academia and get back into such radical notions as reading for pleasure and taking advantage of life in the big city. While this blog will probably have a strong focus on books, I expect to bring up all aspects of pop and high culture, from Mad Men to Madama Butterfly.

Why now? Well, for much of my life, September has meant the start of a new year, a time for new projects. This fall, I’m particularly looking forward to exploring the world of opera with my first subscription to the San Francisco Opera. I’m also about to take on the biggest challenge of my reading year: War and Peace.

One of the things most responsible for my becoming a reader again was a friend’s 24-in-a-year reading resolution and challenge on Facebook. In a moment of weakness (or madness), I decided to up the stakes by making half of those books classics that I should have read already, but had never gotten around to. This idea had been lingering in the back of my mind ever since a conversation with a fellow professor where I was too embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read Don Quixote. Other books on the list include Catch-22, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, The Education of Henry Adams, Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, La Princesse de Clèves, and, of course, War and Peace. In my next post, I will discuss how I have dealt with the difficulties of getting through this challenge. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what would be at the top of your “should-read” list.

Last, but not least, I want to give a shout-out to Stasia, a fabulous blogger (among other things), who inspired me to get on this crazy train. Check her out at Writer on the Side.